Tsil, We do know our ancestors were religious people. America then as now was a land of religious opportunity. I remember I spoke to David Forney (He has a website about our families) about a year ago. He told me that the 5 families did come to this country fleeing religious persecution. This is of course only general speculation. I was wondering if any of these Ettlemans participated in the Revolutionary war. This might be an indication of religious affiliation. Mennonites do not believe we should fight in wars. I do not know if other religions of the day had similar beliefs. Some Ettlemans fought in the civil war, as attested by the letter in the Forney Book which mentions Jacob Ettleman. Of course many of the Ettlemans were Mormons by then. Mormons have been involved in their own military actions against our government under Brigham Young. So they must not have had a moral objection to war.
I guess the bottom line is that we may never have a definitive answer about whether or not Valentine was a Mennonite or not. I see this as a minor point, and I won't lose any sleep over it. It does remain a great curiosity though. Jim